The kids are back to school (on site learning) in a few days. I am obviously anxious and apprehensive, but to be honest we do need to get back to regular programming.
Schooling from home has been an interesting experience for us. I have enjoyed watching the kids adapt to distant learning quite fast, and impressed by how much effort the teachers are putting in to ensure that no child is left behind.
The kids’ school is not so big, which I think has made it a bit easier than most to adjust. I will not lie that there have been no challenges, but I will give credit where due; they have done an amazing job.
For one, I like that the children do not have to be online for long hours. School work is sent in advance on a weekly basis and the children have been able to work at their pace.
On an average school day learning from home, the teachers hold a live online session with the children for about 30 minutes. This is great as the kids get to see their classmates, do their presentations if any, and interact with their teachers. This is usually at 9.00 am. After the live class, they can work as per their individual timetables on what needs to be done, with two breaks, just like in school- For snacks and a bit of play and a one hour lunch break. Afternoon sessions may include live class sessions that are usually half an hour or less. These are for the special classes; art, music, French computer and the like. The Physical education teacher also sends videos for their weekly movement activities.
What has impressed me the most is all they would do in school is included in the home learning program. The librarians have also been sending readings of great children’s books, and one can still access the library and borrow books on a weekly basis.
I know we are privileged in this aspect, and we definitely do not take it for granted. A lot of children have missed out on formal learning. Some private schools have had to close as they could not survive financially in the pandemic. Now as schools reopen there are parents who have to search for new schools for their children. Schools that are struggling on how to maintain Covid 19 prevention protocols because they need to increase sanitation facilities, ensure there is running water, needing space to expand to accommodate increased social distance, desks, and the list goes on and on.
I also wonder how the children will re-adjust to face to face learning, after learning and adjusting to online lessons. Socialising in school will definitely change too. No more games lessons, clubs and sporting for now; it shall not be easy for them to get used to it.
Adapting is not easy. But we can do it. We have to remain resilient and optimistic and keep learning on how to live with the presence of the virus in our communities.